New York has its first Neighborhood Innovation Lab in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. The idea behind the labs is to bring together communities, government, educators and tech specialists to develop cutting edge technologies to enhance urban services and improve residents’ quality of life.
Over the next four months the Brownsville Lab will work with the city to define local needs and explore how different technologies can support economic development. Beginning this summer, the first batch of smart city deployments – including trash cans that alert sanitation workers when they are full, solar-powered benches with free cell phone charging, and interactive digital kiosks – will come to Brownsville.
Neighborhood Innovation Labs are a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation, NYC Economic Development Corporation, NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, along with neighborhood-based organisations, and are part of the city’s plans to modernise public infrastructure and help bridge the digital divide.